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Paul Morphy vs Louis Paulsen
"Poisoned Pawn" (game of the day Aug-27-2018)
1st American Chess Congress (1857), New York, NY USA, rd 4, Nov-04
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen-Basman Defense (B40)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-15-05  ThaDoctor: 22.Bxc8? Rxc8 23.Qd7 Rxe4+ 24.Kf2 Ne7 25.Re1 Rxc2+ 26.Kf3 Rxe1? Qe8+! Black is forced to play Ng8? Qxe1 from there i think morphy would win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  The Diamond: Re the Nd6+ variation: On a quick, coffee-less look, what about

9. Nd6+ Ke7
10. Nxb1 Bf4
11. Nxc8+ Kc7

and Black picks up the knight. Material balance is the same as in the game continuation (Morphy has a queen for a rook + minor piece), but he hasn't given up his strong knight for Black's useless Queen bee (the QB doesn't even have the possibility of moving until move 18). And Morphy's continuation gets rid of Black's good bishop, tatters black's Q-side pawn structure, and gets a knight at d6 on top of it all.

As I said, the coffee is still brewing, so in all this I may be wrong. :)

Aug-15-05  sneaky pete: <The Diamond> Ke7-c7 is impossible.
Premium Chessgames Member
  The Diamond: Right you are, Sneaky. (Although I believe that back in 1857 the King was allowed to hop once in the game.)

So ... how about 11. ... Kd8? The knight still is lost (Black's bishop can always retreat to c7 if White plays g3). Of course, White can play Nb6 and Black must recapture with the rook pawn, but still White has given up his active knight for Black's passive bishop.

Aug-16-05  sneaky pete: After 9.Nd6+ Ke7 10.Nxb1 Bf4 11.Nxc8+ Kd8 12.Nd6 .. white keeps the knight, unless black prefers 12... Bxd6 13.Qxd6 .. etc. In all lines starting with 9.Nd6+ .. black only gets a rook for his queen, whereas in the game continuation he gets rook and minor piece. Morphy must have been too discombobulated by the unexpected blunder 6... Qxb2? to have a good look at the position after 8... Qxb1.

According to Sergeant, this 7th game was played on November 8. That same they the 6th game had been played, the Four Knights' Game where Morphy played his famous queen sacrifice Qd8-d3xf3, which had "only" taken 4 hours. Maybe both players were tired, maybe Paulsen wanted to return the favour.

Premium Chessgames Member
  The Diamond: I concede. Bad analysis on my part. By the way, thanks for the little bit of history on the match.
Dec-01-05  Chopin: Morphy makes Paulsen look like a Patzer. Great game.
May-01-06  Grega: Anand vs Kasparov, 1991
Aug-23-07  Helios727: 9. Nd6+ Kd8 10. Nxb1 Bf4 11. Nxf7+ Ke7 12. Nxh8, and white will extricate the knight, remaining a full queen ahead. So 9 ... Kd8 was much worse for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <ThaDoctor: 22.Bxc8? Rxc8 23.Qd7 Rxe4+ 24.Kf2 Ne7 25.Re1 Rxc2+ 26.Kf3 Rxe1? Qe8+! Black is forced to play Ng8? Qxe1 from there i think morphy would win.> Maybe but only if he would have played with black pieces here. White's lone Queen cannot do any harm to black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: This is game 7 of the final round of the 1st American Chess Congress
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: 18.Rg3 g6 19.c3 Rxc4 20.Nxc4 exf5 21.f3 fxe4 22.fxe4 Kg7 23.Nd6 looks stronger

20.Qg4 Ra1+ 21.Kf2 Rxg1 22.Bxe6+ Bxe6 23.Qxe6 Kh8 24.Kxg1 looks stronger

Nov-19-12  schnarre: ...Losing the Queen so early didn't help Paulsen's game any.
Mar-28-14  RookFile: Wow, the suggested 23.....Rxe4+ 24. Kf2 Ne7 looks very interesting. I'm amazed that a careful player like Paulsen didn't play it.
Mar-28-14  RedShield: Unlikely in such a famous game (all Morphy games are famous), but is it possible that the game score is wrong? 18.f4 seems like a pointless move; wouldn't 18.f3 (preventing 23...Rxe4+) with same combination in mind make more sense? True, that gives Black additional defensive options with 23...Rd4 or Rd8, as White can't play Qg4, but it still seems more logical.
Aug-24-17  JPi: I'm not trying to defend Morphy's play especially light with 22.BxN? (22.c4 is good enough to win) yet in the game after the best 23...Rxe4+ 24.Kf2 Ne7 and now keeping alive c pawn by 25.c3 with 26.Re1 is more difficult to assess. Queen could dominate black 2 pieces. e.g 25...Ra8 26.Re1 Ra2+ 27.Kf1 RxR+ (27...Rxf4+?! 28.Kg1 Ng8 29.Re8 with RxN+! which mates 29...h6 30.Qf7) 28.KxR Black b6 one white h2 should fall but c pawn looks more dangerous than h one. The score is surely correct simply Morphy dominated soo much the game that both players never suspected Black's "miraculous" (In sense that without motivation all piece are coordinated at move 24th Re4 protects Ne7 which protects Rc8 and even Kh8 gives g8 square for the Ne7!) escape.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Instead of playing 24...Ra1+, Black should have been thinking of defense. 24...Rg8 would have been more reasonable.

In light of that, Morphy would have been better off playing 24. Qxa4 instead of taking the ♘.

Aug-27-18  chessamateur: <al wazir> On 24...Rg8, 25. Rxg7 Ra1+ 26. Kd2 Rxg7 27. Qf8+ Rg8 28. Qxf6+ Rg7 29. Qxa1
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This is a very early example of what I snappily call the <White Knight on d6 capturing unmoved bishop on c8 paradox>.

click for larger view

This might seem like a huge waste of time, but it almost always turns out very well for the white side.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Dec-01-05 Chopin: Morphy makes Paulsen look like a Patzer. Great game.>

They both looked like patzers if the game score is correct.

Aug-27-18  Strelets: Interesting how players like Paulsen and Staunton used the Sicilian before Morphy's and Steinitz's advocacy of 1...e5 caused it to virtually disappear with the notable exception of Lasker for decades.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Thees ees a brilliant game by zee brilliant Morphy!
Aug-27-18  lzromeu: Old Queen Trap, still work against amateurs
B2 is a poisoned pawn
Aug-27-18  RookFile: It's too bad Paulsen missed the draw with 23....Rxe4+. I found myself rooting for him, and this would have been a reward for the resourceful way he hung in there in this game even though he was losing.
Aug-27-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 22 dpa done

1. = (0.10): 6...Nc6 7.Na4 Qa5+ 8.c3 Bxd4 9.Bxd4 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 e5 11.Qb4 Qxb4 12.cxb4 Nf6 13.Nc3 d6 14.f3 Be6 15.Kf2 d5 16.exd5 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.Bd3 Rd8 19.Rhd1 g6 20.b3 Ke7 21.Rac1 Kf6 22.Rc7 Bc6 23.a4 Kg7

2. + / - (0.86): 6...a6 7.a3 Nc6 8.Na4 Qa5+ 9.b4 Qxa4 10.bxc5 Nf6 11.f3 0-0 12.Qd2 e5 13.Nb3 Ne8 14.Bd3 Nc7 15.0-0 Rd8 16.Rfd1 h6 17.Bf1 Nb5 18.Bf2 Re8 19.Qe3 Nbd4 20.Nxd4 Nxd4

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